Panchkula to vote for new mayor, 20 councillors
About 1.89 lakh people will seal the fate of six mayoral candidates and 83 others in the fray for 20 seats of councillor as the Panchkula municipal corporation goes to the polls on Sunday.
Set up in 2010, the MC witnessed its first election in 2013, when the Congress won the mayor’s post and majority in the House with 12 seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party and Indian National Lok Dal won three each and two seats went to Independent candidates.
The city’s first mayor, Upinder Kaur Ahluwalia, remained on the post till 2018 when the House was dissolved. She is again in the fray in mainly a two-cornered contest with the BJP’s Kulbhushan Goyal. The other contenders are Anil Pangotra of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Sudarshan Bansal of Janral Samaj Party and Independents Padam Garg and Shyam Singh Negi.
This is the first time elections are taking place in a bifurcated MC, as Kalka and Pinjore were separated from the limits of the Panchkula civic body earlier this year.
Voting from 8:30am, no phones allowed
The voting will begin at 275 polling booths across 20 wards at 8:30am on Sunday. It will continue till 5:30pm.
The administration has appointed 12 supervisors besides 16 polling parties. At every polling booth, there will be five polling officials besides two to three cops and home guards. While 98 booths have been declared hyper-sensitive, 29 are sensitive.
Deputy commissioner Mukesh Kumar Ahuja addressed all polling parties on Saturday. “ No one is allowed to take mobile phones at polling booths,” he said.
The last hour of polling has been dedicated to Covid-19 patients, said Ahuja, adding that others can also vote during the last hour.
“Not more than 1,000 voters are allowed at every polling booth. Each polling booth will have thermal scanners and sanitisers besides PPE kits for those in need. Special arrangements will be made for senior citizens, pregnant women, and specially abled people,” he said.